Blurb, the creative book publishing service, announced that it has redesigned its Web site and introduced several new features for Blurb customers who choose to share and market their books through Blurb’s Web site. Adding community-building features enables any Blurb author to communicate and connect with others, share interests, create books together, and sell those books to a wider audience.
“Our customers are passionate about their books. You can see it all over our online bookstore, that our authors want to share their books and connect through them,” said Eileen Gittins, Blurb founder and CEO. “We’re leveraging community features prevalent in the social Web to make the bookmaking experience more personal, interactive, and engaging.”
As an innovator in social print media, Blurb is now providing bookmakers with:
• Profiles – Customers can now create a personal or business profile on Blurb to share contact information and socialize or network within the Blurb community.
• My Blurb – This entirely new, personal dashboard pulls everything a registered customer cares about – current orders, recently uploaded books, Web traffic statistics, and more – into one place for easy access.
• Blurb Badges 1.5 – These free marketing widgets feature an image of the book cover that can be embedded in any blog or Web site. The 1.5 upgrade allows users to customize borders, backgrounds, and the overall look of the badge for specific blogs or Web sites. Badges enable one-click access to purchase the book in the Blurb Bookstore; an ideal tool for viral marketing.
• Bookmark It/Recommend It – Bookmark It is a tool that allows users to share any Blurb book with the entire world via social bookmarking services like Digg, del.icio.us, and Stumble Upon. Recommend It allows users to easily email anyone a link to a particular book. No registration is required to use these services.
Blurb also announced the availability of Blurb BookSmart™ beta release version 1.8. Customers can already use Blurb’s free bookmaking software, BookSmart, to make real bookstore-quality books, but this latest release delivers more creative control and improved usability. The latest version – Blurb BookSmart 1.8 – includes these enhancements:
• Color Chooser – Offers greatly expanded color choices for book covers and inside pages.
• Global Folio – Lets customers easily make global text and style changes to their book’s headers and footers, including titles, chapter names, and page numbers.
• Multi-Page Select – Helps customers efficiently move multiple pages from one section of their book to another. This function also makes it easier to delete multiple pages.
Blurb’s BookSmart software is free, runs on a Mac or PC, and offers hundreds of layouts created by commercial book designers. The software enables anyone to create, share, distribute, and market affordable, beautiful, bookstore-quality books.
Blurb is a company and a community that believes passionately in the power of books: making, reading, sharing, and selling them. Blurb’s creative publishing service is simple and smart enough to make anyone an author — every blogger, cook, marketer, photographer, traveler, entrepreneur, poet, everyone. Founded by Eileen Gittins in 2005 and funded by Canaan Partners and Anthem Venture Partners, Blurb is bringing book publishing to the masses. Blurb’s free BookSmart™ software runs on a Mac or PC; users pay only when they publish their books. The software is available for download at www.blurb.com.